Skip to content

How to Use Instagram To Dramatically Improve Your Business: “Instagramers love a Cinderella story” With Marco Shalma, founder of Round Seven and Candice Georgiadis

Instagramers love a Cinderella story. Well, everyone does. I make sure to share any success, as small as it is. It’s contagious, it drives emotion and a sense of “we’re in it together”.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Marco Shalma who is the founder of The Bronx’s leading creative agency; Round Seven. He is a creative producer with BBDO, Complex, Thrillist, and independent filmmaking background

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

As a kid, I was obsessed with commercials. I loved the way an idea, well-executed, has a universal reaction. To me, that was powerful. I studied advertising and found a dream job in the industry, but something was missing. I took a “detour” and moved on to filmmaking. I guess I wasn’t aware at the time but, looking back, I was craving more complex content development. Cut to a few years ago, my life path led me to found a company where I get to come up with cool ideas, and then ideas on how to market those ideas.

Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?

Coming from the advertising world and into the online content sphere, I’ve not only witnessed the progression first hand but often took part in teams that helped define trends.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

Working pedominately in The Bronx, NY has had its challenges. Mainly due to the fact that the local business community was lagging when it comes to online presence and social media. We literally had to fight to keep up with global trends, while at the same time take a few steps back and help the community catch-up on the basics. In mid-2018 we won an award for achievements in media and that was a much-needed morale boost for us all.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The first lesson I learned is that what worked 5 minutes ago isn’t necessarily gonna work in 5 minutes. Truly understanding that ensures that I always triple check & question everything.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

It really depends on the demographics and the target audience. When the campaign is directed at businesses and/or 45+ we invest in Facebook marketing. When our audience is younger we focus on Instagram heavily. In the (not so far) past, we used to diversify platform wise, but that’s very 2017 — nowadays we zero in on a platform using 80/20 principles and attack, revise, repeat.

In 2018 we launched The Bronx Night Market in what turned out to be the most successful campaign in the Borough’s history. The strategy was clear: push tons of content on Instagram and engage-engage-engage. This led us to organically grow the account to 8000 in 5 months and lead to a 15k+ in attendance at each physical event.

Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Micro Influencers — These are the up and coming instagramers that are in your local social circle. They all work hard to grow their following base and are very active. We engage and collaborate with them, run takeovers, and curate content.
  2. Community pods — The algorithm favors engagement, so we created multiple pods (groups) of likeminded individuals and/or businesses and share relevant content amongst the group. The group immediately engages by commenting, liking, and reposting.
  3. Personalization — Put yourself in the front. I long realized that people want to support other people, not brands. Don’t sell, don’t push, but use Instagram to document your process, your journey, and eventually, people will support your content and the cause, once they trust you.
  4. The Come-up — Instagramers love a Cinderella story. Well, everyone does. I make sure to share any success, as small as it is. It’s contagious, it drives emotion and a sense of “we’re in it together”.
  5. Team Accountability — When your team is invested in the strategy, the creativity, and the execution, they are committed to winning. They get incentivized by the numbers and the success and will generously engage with the brand’s community. That’s money!
  6. Giveaways — As corny as you may think this is — it is still one of the best ways to get people behind a CTA. Make it clear, rewarding and always follow up.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Not really a movement, but I lately been thinking about this idea in which each and every one of us will have full access to all the info relevant to our name, including search histories by big data companies, government offices, financial institutions, and every joe schmoe. In the way credit score work. You get full transparency. Because, it’s your info, to begin with, no?

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

The choice is easy. Gary Vee is the king of social media, and a man I share a lot in common with (aside for the bank account — for now.) I don’t agree with all his mantras, but, you can’t ignore the revolution he is leading and his tenacity.

Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!

How to Use Instagram To Dramatically Improve Your Business: “Instagramers love a Cinderella story”… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.